Creating personal maps is one of the first activities we do in Youth Voices. We asked the students at South El Monte High School to identify the places where they spend time with friends, or places that have meaning to them, as well as other key locations, people, and things. This begins the process of thinking critically about their neighborhood, along with initiating a creative freedom to express ideas true to their experiences. The maps provide a visual narrative of their city and a possible vision for the future. To see more of their work click HERE or use #kcetyv on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Drawing the places I go wasn't a big deal to me. I started with my house and the most important locations I included were the fast food restaurants. I want to see the plaza down the street from my house change because it needs to be remodeled. The City of Los Angeles and Hollywood have some awesome colors and there's lots of fun things to do.
My Grandmomma's house is a place with great memories, because she's had that house since before I was born and I basically grew up there. I remember as a child my Grandmomma would take care of me and my cousins.
The library is a quiet place here in South El Monte and I like to do my homework there and I tend to concentrate more when it's quiet.
A place with lots of history is my old middle school, Kranz Intermediate School. Before there was a school it was part of Gays Lion Farm. Honestly I really don't care where I hang out as long its fun and I'm with my friend or family.
Sonia is my best friend I've known her since my freshman year. I would consider her more like my sister than my best friend. I'm always with her we do everything together and her mom is my godmother. Sonia's house is on my map because that's like my second home.
I'm afraid to go to Klingerman because there's lots of violence and gangs. You can't even walk down the street or even drive without seen a gang member and them staring at you.
I like to eat at In-n-out and the Chinese food restaurant -- both are down the street from my house and they're both delicious.